This last Sunday we looked at the glory and grandness of this new people God has created- the Church. The beauty of the Church is seen in its design, in its construction and in it being the dwelling place of God Himself. This isn't to hard to imagine if you keep a rather vague and broad view of the Church. If you think of believers throughout history and across the world you might be able to view the church this way.
However, this becomes far more challenging when you seek to bring this perspective to the local church. You see, the big "C" Church (the universal Church) finds expression in local assemblies of God's people- the little "c" church. This means what Paul says about the Church in Ephesians 2:19-22 applies to the people sitting around you on Sundays or in a Community Group as much as it does to the universal Church.
This is where the supernatural power of God to transform His people comes in. It is by His transforming grace that we will be able to bring our perspective under the authority of Scripture and embrace by faith what God says about the church.
Redemption will eventually fail you. Our flaws will become evident in time. There will be no question in your mind whether the people here at Redemption are sinners or not.
Will we at that point continue to have eyes of faith to see the church as God sees it? Will we at that time reflect the grace and patience that we have been immersed in through Christ?
May God give us grace to love the church He has designed, constructed and is even now dwelling within.
I've come across a number of great quotes on the church lately that I'll be posting in the near future. For now, here's a brief quote that helps bring the point home.
Telling people that being part of the local church is optional for the health of the Christian, is like telling a married couple they can replace living together with being friends on Facebook to grow closer and become One as God intends. - Carlos Griego
(HT: Vitamin Z)